This very famous herb has its origins in some of the most diverse and refined cultures in the world. These cultures sometimes revered Basil as being an herb of the gods and also for a medicine. Here at Indigo Herbs we have captured the very essence of Sweet basil in the form of an aromatic essential oil - Sweet Basil Pure Aromatherapy Essential Oil. This can be used for a variety of blends or even be used to repel insects.
The origins of this herb is thought to have originated in Asia (some say Africa) and brought to ancient Greece by the conquering Alexander the Great from India. Later, during the British occupation of India Basil was brought to the UK in the 16th century. It is mentioned in the Herbals of Culpeper, Gerard, Parkinson and Dioscorides where each describe it with qualities that are both esoteric and obscure. An example is Culpeper’s and Gerard’s description that Basil had had the ability to cure scorpion stings and if one was to over indulge it could make a scorpion grow in the brain! From this point Basil has had an association with the constellation Scorpio. In India Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is the name of a goddess venerated for her devotion to the god Vishnu and has become a plant that is worshiped in various ways of being a direct link to the god. It is said that if one clutches onto Holy Basil at the moment of death then the path to heaven is assured.
There is some disagreement as to the number of species of Basil since all plants of the species cross extremely easily with each other. To complicate matters there are other plants that have Basil as their common name. Basils are non-woody annuals native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. It can usually grow to about 3 feet high with big fleshy leaves and flowering in spears of white flowers. Basil is most known for its use in Italian cooking and in condiments such as pesto.